I've long had no issue admitting my inability to get excited about Sony's smartphone products. Often, they're too late to market here in the US, have specifications that while competitive are rarely groundbreaking, and really do very little on the software feature front. When I saw the Xperia Z1 at IFA last year, I just wasn't all that impressed - Sony's flagship still suffered from ridiculous screen viewing angle issues, and the UI felt almost no different from what Sony shipped with Ice Cream Sandwich.
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ARM still dominates mobile devices more than two years after Intel started making chips suitable for Android phones and tablets. The company is taking another swing at it in 2014 with the newly announced Merrifield and Moorefield chips. These processors pack updated GPUs, new 64-bit architecture, and an efficient 22nm manufacturing process.
The Merrifield chips are now officially known as the Z34xx family. According to benchmarks produced by Intel, the dual-core Z3480 processor is capable of besting the Snapdragon 800 and Apple A7.
One year ago we took a look at the original Grand Memo, ZTE's mid-range entry in the bustling "phablet" market. Fast forward and ZTE is back at Mobile World Congress, showing off a new and improved version called the Grand Memo II LTE, that's better in every way... but still not really good enough to elicit a "wow" of surprise. Check out our hands-on video below.
The Grand Memo II bumps up the screen size to 6.0 inches, putting it squarely in between the largest of the conventional smartphones and low-cost tablets.
Many earbuds and headsets these days come with basic volume up and down buttons that let you manage volume levels without having to pull out your phone. It's nice functionality, but it's also a bit boring out of the box. That's why you will want to install the latest version of the Degauss Headset Control Center. This app raises the bar when it comes to controlling music playback. Not only can you customize what happens when you press each button, you can set actions for when you double-click, triple-click, quadruple-click, and, yes, quintuple-click them.
Sony announced its new Xperia Z2 Tablet here at Mobile World Congress, so we swung by their booth on the show floor to get a hands-on with the next tablet flagship. This is the successor to the Tablet Z, now more fully aligned with the leading Sony phone in both name and hardware.
The first thing you notice when you pick up the Z2 Tablet is that it is thin. Crazy thin - 6.4mm, in fact, thinner than the previous tablet, thinner than any phone you're likely to get your hands on in the United States, thinner than the iPad Air by more than a millimeter, and lighter as well at only 425 grams.
Now that Facebook has paid $19 billion for WhatsApp, what's next for the mobile messaging app? Voice calls, apparently. According to TechCrunch, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced the upcoming feature at Mobile World Congress earlier today. With this new functionality, the app will even more directly compete with the likes of Skype, KakaoTalk, Line, and Viber. Though, without video support, it still won't be an all-encompassing solution just yet.
one two wearables weren't enough, Samsung had to go and announce a third. This one is a little bit different from the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, however – it's called the Gear Fit, and it's basically a fitness tracker with a twist... or rather a curve.
The Fit isn't your typical run-of-the-mill fitness tracker, according to Samsung. It's packed with "the most comprehensive fitness tools available," and it also sends notifications from Galaxy smartphones, alerting users of incoming calls, emails, texts, alarms, and the like.
We can finally put the months of rumors to bed – Samsung just unveiled to Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We'll have hands-on for you shortly, but let's go over what Samsung is announcing first.
It's looking like some of the more outlandish rumors were way off base – the Galaxy S5 is not specced much differently than other flagship phones in recent months, and it's certainly not made of metal.
Samsung started pushing an update to KitKat for the Exynos variant of the Galaxy S4 (GT-i9500) less than a week ago. Now, it's time for the Snapdragon-equipped S4 (GT-i9505) to see some action. In addition to the standard Android 4.4.2 feature set, this update will also bring some tweaks to the lockscreen, including a shortcut to the camera and full-screen album art during music playback, an improved landscape-mode keyboard, several bug fixes, and the now standard white KitKat status icons.